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Increased Compliance Required for Electrical Safety Regulations and Standards

By Lee Marchessault - Published on May 11, 2016 4:50 am

OSHA has increased compliance activities related to electrical safety regulations and standards over the past few years. This began with the heightened interest in arc flash hazards starting with the 2000 NFPA 70E standard and became more active after the 2004 edition was published. On February 14, 2007 OSHA updated a portion of Subpart S (1910.302-308) and soon after Compliance Officers attended training on electrical regulations and associated NFPA 70E standards. In 2009, the NFPA published a more polished and clear 70E standard and has continued with the 2012 now minimally covering shock and arc flash hazards for DC systems.

OSHA is now poised to cite any company that opts not to comply with electrical-related regulations and has even stopped or delayed VPPPA renewals. In addition to this newfound knowledge on electrical hazards, there is an emphasis program in effect specifically targeting the recycling industry. A major part of their effort continues to focus on employee protection, first by eliminating the hazard through proper lockout tagout and other administrative controls or barriers, and secondly by the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). There is a wide interpretation on the use of PPE along with the definition of a “qualified worker”. PPE is required to protect qualified workers from electrical hazards and is not difficult to implement.

Coming up in our next blog: Who is best qualified to fulfill safety maintenance needs?

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Written by: Lee Marchessault, CUSA, CUSP

Lee Marchessault has nearly 30 years of experience in the Electric Utility Industry. He is now a Safety Consultant and the President of Workplace Safety Solutions, Inc. where he continues to work with many utilities and general industry in and outside the United States.

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